For a few years now, McDonald’s franchisees have been vocal about their dislike of the McCafé line of espresso beverages. The company has responded by adding more beverages to the line and requiring restaurants to spend thousands on new machines. Franchisees are not fans of this change.
Last month, McDonald’s added more beverages to the McCafé lineup, making the espresso project even more complicated. These included caramel macchiatos, vanilla cappuccinos, and americanos.
Business Insider reports that in a recent survey performed by a restaurant analyst at finance firm Nomura,franchisees said that these beverages are mostly selling in line with expectations, but that they’re too time-consuming for McDonald’s.
One franchisee complained about the “forced equipment purchases,” potentially referring to new machines that make a wider variety of beverages and cost $12,000 each.
Other franchisees complained that the beverages slow down service for everyone, and aren’t worth the wait. “Slow ordering time, slow make time, and therefore slow service time. Very labor intensive,” one wrote.
Back in early 2015, another survey of franchisees showed that McCafé beverages were the item that the restaurant owners most wanted to dump. They were happy to keep brewed and iced coffee, which are quick to serve, but they wanted the more complicated and slower-selling espresso-based beverages off the menu.
With these beverages, McDonald’s is trying to take on competitor Starbucks. It could learn a few things from its rival, perhaps, as Starbucks has it own service speed problems now.